Easter Island Statue Project Official Website
EISP Excavation

Fly to our Excavation Site!

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Posted on June 10th, 2012 by Kim Anh Hoang | Categories: 2000s, EISP Excavation, Featured Articles |

Meet our EISP Excavation Crew!

Jo Anne Van Tilburg and Cristián Arévalo Pakarati lead an all-Rapa Nui crew and core staff consisting of Dario Ika Paoa, excavator; Patricio Rodrigo Madariaga Paoa, excavator; Vaiheri Tuki Haoa, photographer; and Rosa Lucía Ika Paoaand Anastasia Ika Paoa, logistics and support.

We have been joined seasonally by Carlos Rapu Rapu, Benjamin Mihaore Pakarati González, Ana Pakarati Icka, Margarita Pakarati, and Melisanda Pakarati;

Rapa Nui students in archaeology and conservation, some of whom are from Universidad Internacional SEK,  include Isaías Hey Gonzáles, Joaquin Soler Hotu, Rafael Paoa Rapu, Tiktehatu Astete Paoa and Felipé Rubio Munita.

Dr. Christian Fischer and Mónica Bahamondez Prieto are in charge of the conservation initiative of our AIA-funded project, with Paula Valenzuela and Tahira Edmunds on field data collection.

EISP staff who have worked on the excavation include Alice Hom (2010) and Kim Anh Hoang (2011).

Volunteers include Tokerau Pakarati Icka, Hotu  Pakarati Icka, and Johannes Van Tilburg, FAIA. CONAF employees, especially Pablo Hito, have all been present or involved at one time or another.

Posted on May 22nd, 2012 by EISP Staff | Categories: 2000s, AIA Partnership, EISP Excavation, Featured Articles |

Field Season V

 

Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative

Season V Excavation Summary

RR-001-156 and Square 4, RR-001-157

Jo Anne Van Tilburg

November 2011

Introduction

This report is another in a series of reports dealing with the excavation of statues RR-001-156 and RR-001-157 in Rano Raraku quarry, Rapa Nui, Chile. The previous reports were filed with the appropriate Chilean and Rapa Nui agencies and also provided to the general public on the Easter Island Statue Project web site (www.eisp.org). This report deals with the continuing excavation of statue RR-001-156 to the base and Square 4 of RR-001-157. These activities took place during Season V (November 2011) of the Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative.
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Posted on December 7th, 2011 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. | Categories: 2000s, AIA Partnership, Conservation Reports, EISP Excavation, Featured Articles |

Join Us in a Monumental Task

Save the Easter Island Statues

Dear Friends,

Through a methodical archaeological survey we have accomplished the digital mapping of Rano Raraku statue quarry, documented over one thousand statues throughout the entire island and created the world’s largest archaeological archive describing the statues.

Working with scientific colleagues at The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and with conservators from Chile’s Centro Nacional de Conservación y Restauración. We are excavating and conserving statues in Rano Raraku interior quarry.  Knowledge gained there will allow preservation of other statues throughout the island.

In 2008, our work was rewarded with a grant from the Site Preservation Task Force of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA; www.archaeological.org).

A wonderful AIA grant jumpstarted our conservation initiative. EISP has no endowment. Our only source of income is grants and U.S. tax deductible contributions.  We also enjoy profit sharing through sales of contemporary indigenous art in our Mana Gallery on Easter Island.

Please join us in A Monumental Task, become a Friend of EISP!

—Jo Anne Van Tilburg

Posted on August 31st, 2011 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. | Categories: 2000s, AIA Partnership, Conservation, Conservation Reports, EISP Excavation, Featured Articles, Support |

Field Season IV

Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report

July-August 2011

Project Target Statues

The target statues from the inception of this project are RR-001-156 and RR-001-157, both of which are located within Quarry 2 of Rano Raraku.  RR-001-158 is adjacent to Quarry 2 on the eastward side and was selected by the conservators as a study control.  All of these designations are given on EISP Map Sheet 1 (Van Tilburg and Arévalo Pakarati 2009). Rano Raraku, the quarry in which fully 95% of the known 1,042 monolithic sculptural objects documented to date by this project were carved, is a unit of the Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF; www.conaf.cl) and, as such, a World Heritage site.

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Posted on August 16th, 2011 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. | Categories: 2000s, AIA Partnership, Conservation Reports, EISP Excavation, Featured Articles |

Field Season III

Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report
February 2011


Introduction

This report is the third in a series documenting the implementation of permitted excavations in Rano Raraku quarry on target statues RR-001-156 and RR-001-157 . Specifically, this report deals with the third excavation season, or Phase 3, and is focused specifically on RR-001-156. The conservation follow-up work that is anticipated for March, 2011 will be conducted by Dr. Christian Fischer and documented by him in a separate report.

The target statue for this season is RR-001-156.  It was previously excavated by the Mana Expedition to Easter Island in 1914-15 (Routledge 1919). According to Routledge’s unpublished notes, “at the start, the statue was buried to a line midway between the lobe of the ear and the angle of the jaw” (NGS/WKR). Two separate excavations, both of which were haphazard and are poorly documented, were made of the dorsal side of the statue. The first excavation reached “to a depth of 16 feet measuring from the crown of the head.”   The second excavation at the back was made “to extend the first excavation to 10 feet from the statue back” simply to take photographs.  At the front, excavation reached “to the navel.”  Our Historic Level Book provides a synopsis of the excavations and the objects collected.

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Posted on March 21st, 2011 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. | Categories: 2000s, AIA Partnership, Conservation, Conservation Reports, EISP Excavation, Featured Articles |

Field Season II

Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report October-November 2010

Introduction

This report is a preliminary statement of the tasks undertaken and goals achieved during the second field season of Phase 2 of the Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative.  Phase 1 took place in April, 2010 and a full report of that work is on file with the appropriate agencies.  This report is a detailed overview but not a final, scientific analysis or synthesis of our findings. That will be produced at the end of the combined work planned for Phase 3 and Phase 4, which entails the similar excavation and study of Moai RR-001-156.

The Conservation Initiative is funded by the Archaeological Institute of America, and its intent is a scientific evaluation of the state of preservation, above and below ground, of the two statues described here (RR-001-156 and RR-001-157).  In addition, the Conservation Initiative will monitor and collect scientific data on the discrete environmental contexts of the two statues. These data will be employed to determine the course of stone stabilization treatment to be embarked upon for each statue, and how that treatment may or may not be generalized to other statues.

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Posted on December 8th, 2010 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. | Categories: 2000s, AIA Partnership, Conservation, Conservation Reports, EISP Excavation, Featured Articles |

Field Season I

Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report March-April, 2010


Introduction

This project is the first controlled, scientific archaeological excavations ever undertaken in the interior of Rano Raraku Quarry.  It is also the first stone conservation and preservation pilot program in Rano Raraku.

All but one of the 22 standing statues (moai) in Rano Raraku Quarry interior have been previously exposed through unscientific and undocumented digging. The Target Statues for this project (RR-001-156 and RR-001-157) have been dug or otherwise disturbed by the Mana Expedition (1914), the Franco-Belgian Expedition (1935), and the Norwegian Archaeological Expedition (1954-55).

The Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) has a 20 year history of archaeological survey on Easter Island (Rapa Nui), the objective of which is the creation of a full and complete, island-wide monolithic and portable statue inventory and the compilation of an historical image record for each statue. Prior to the selection of Quarry Two for the excavations described here, the EISP team completed a five year mapping foray in the interior of Rano Raraku, the volcanic quarry from which 95 percent of the extant monolithic sculpture were produced (Van Tilburg 1994; Van Tilburg, Arévalo Pakarati and Alice Hom 2008).
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Posted on April 26th, 2010 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. | Categories: 2000s, AIA Partnership, Conservation Reports, EISP Excavation, Featured Articles |

Letter from Easter Island

Exposed body of statue RR-003-009 from March field season. © 2013 Easter Island Statue Project/ Jo Anne Van Tilburg

Excavated face of Statue RR-003-008 from the March field season. © 2013 Easter Island Statue Project/ Jo Anne Van Tilburg

Excavated face of Statue RR-003-008 from the March field season. © 2013 Easter Island Statue Project/ Jo Anne Van Tilburg

Dear Friends of EISP,

I am writing you today from Rapa Nui, where we are embarking on the last phase of our excavations in Quarry 02 of the interior slope.  For those of you who have been following us, we are now turning our attention to the front of the statue known as “Papa” (RR-001-156). We have, to date, excavated  both statues to their bases on their dorsal sides, and documented features dealing with the ceremonial uses of the statues (pigments), transport (base features, including a large post hole used for elevating the statues), and a small boulder with an incised petroglyph in a motif similar to those on the backs of the statues. We now know for sure that the “heads” on the slope here are, in fact, full but incomplete statues.

Other work includes geological mapping (by Dr. Richard Dunn) of the interior and surveying of the lake bottom (Dr. Shelley Wachsmann and Jeffrey Morris).

Stay with us, and we will fill you in upon my return!

Cheers,
Jo Anne Van Tilburg

Posted on August 9th, 2013 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. | Categories: EISP Excavation, Letters from the Director |